I poured a 12oz bottle into a lager glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $3.89 ($0.32 per ounce).
Appearance: Pretty red/maroon hue with brown highlights. Carbonation
visible through a hazy body. Pours to a large, eggshell, frothy head
which retains and laces extremely well.
Smell: Clean, hoppy aroma of citrus plus some bready maltiness.
Taste: You don’t see too many breweries doing an amber lager these days,
though Clown Shoes Swagger is hardly to traditional specifications,
anyway. Stronger than your average red lager in terms of malts, hops,
and overall body. Distinct bready malts up front, slightly sweet but
nowhere near cloying. Followed by a strong hop presence of light pine
and some orange citrus flavor. Slightly dry on the finish, though it
complements the rest of the palate. I’d venture to guess this particular
bottle was old (hence the importance of freshness dates!), but there’s
still plenty of flavor to taste here. Enjoyable to be sure, though not
quite as impressive as the other offerings from the brewery.
Drinkability: Billed as a “hoppy red lager,” Clown Shoes Swagger drinks
more like an amber ale. The mouthfeel is bigger in body than most
lagers; as well as softer, smoother and calmer. It goes down quite
easily and leaves just a slightly dry, albeit tolerable, aftertaste. The
6% ABV weight seems dead on, though the beer is too big to session, but
would work well with food.